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‘Johnny O’Clock,’ despite the talent involved, lacks bite

Balancing plot and character must be a complex feat to pull off. It seems that, on a weekly basis, especially with the plethora of blogs and websites dedicated to film reviews, articles and podcasts discount various movies for their lack of character development, presenting overly convoluted plots and many similar faux pas. Carrying the precarious pressures of both screenwriting and directing can easily make the exercise of filmmaking all the more demanding, save perhaps for the few masters of both art forms (even then they would surely confess to experiencing some troubled waters). Robert Rossen, who would go on to direct All The King’s Men to Oscar victory in 1949, worked on a much smaller scale for 1947’s Johnny O’Clock.

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